Eating the Italian Way with Rocco DiSpirito at #FitBlogNYC

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the invite-only #FitBlogNYC at the Mercedes Club in Manhattan. The event was put on by FITNESS Magazine, the only magazine I religiously devour in a bath when it arrives on my doorstep every month. I was lucky to have been able to sit in on conversations from sone of today’s great trainers, doctors and Chefs! I also had the opportunity to demo beverages, health food and apparel, yet I was under no obligation to write anything. I am sharing this post as hearing Rocco Dispirito speak was entertaining and engaging and in fact I will share more posts about the event soon!

Outside on a gorgeous day on the Mercedes Club rooftop listening to Chef Rocco Dispirito

Rocco Dispirito has what my high school religion teacher called a “proselytizing spirit” – meaning he can convert you into doing just about anything, kinda like a cult leader. This is a Chef that took his craft back home to Italy so that he could cook with the “mamas” and understand old Italian traditions as well as adapt them to a healthy lifestyle. His conversation with FITNESS Editor Pam O’Brien was frank and to the point with some new-to-me food ideas that I can’t wait to put into practice. One of the golden nuggets he shared was this:

If you are eating alone, change that! Enjoy the company of others while you eat. You will naturally eat less and enjoy your food.

He talked about why 67% of the American population is overweight while only 3% of the Italian population is. Words like enjoying life, eating with family and friends,  and seasonal foods all came up. I liked that the foods he described were flavorful and varied, not bland and boring. In fact, he suggested to a vegetarian that she leave the “crunchy foods” behind and try out Indian food for some really yummy vegetarian meals.

Here are the top tips I jotted down straight from the mouth of Rocco:

  • Half a cup of cottage cheese is loaded with 16g of protein – eat it up!
  • Non-fat Greek yogurt is another fave for protein
  • Flavor detonator must-haves in your kitchen pantry include: stock in a box, spices such as basil, aged balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard
  • For those in need of pasta, he suggested looking into a miracle noodle made of Japanese yam
  • Other pasta suggestions included brown rice, quinoa and tinkyada rice pasta
  • He is also an advocate for cheese! But only the expensive parmesan which he suggested sprinkling over spaghetti squash
  • Another pasta idea is the super easy to make chicken puree pasta he recently demoed on Rachael Ray. I’m keen to look this one up and give it a whirl, I’ll update if I do!
  • His favorite new sweetener is monkfruit

All I can say is that after listening to his mesmerizing Italian accent and informed take on how to cook, eat and enjoy it, I am looking forward to getting my hands on his latest book, Now Eat This!

What say you! Do you like hosting dinner parties?

disclosure: unfortunately I did not receive Rocco’s ccokbook , that was not part of the deal :(, but I did get to be in his presence, take part in the Q&A and share in his wisdom. Though I did receive conference gifts from the sponsors, all opinions are 100% my own.

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11 Responses to Eating the Italian Way with Rocco DiSpirito at #FitBlogNYC
  1. Jennifer Soltys
    May 30, 2013 | 9:41 am

    Wow, those tips are great! This sounds like a great event!! I like to host dinner parties once in a while. We just had one and it turned out pretty well.
    Jennifer Soltys recently posted..Shopping at Walmart for Our Summer Corn ObsessionMy Profile

  2. Danielle
    Twitter: simmworksfamily
    May 30, 2013 | 10:24 am

    What a fabulous event and great messages to take home. I love hosting people at my home for dinner. Although I think I’ll continue to eat my greek yogurt instead of cottage cheese 😉 Did you know cottage cheese has a huge amount of sodium in it?
    Danielle recently posted..Green Cleaning with Seventh Generation Products #SeventhGenerationMy Profile

    • Ghada V
      May 31, 2013 | 12:34 pm

      I could think of worst places to get sodium, but I hear ya :) Protein is so important for women, especially when you are working out hard

  3. Crissy
    May 30, 2013 | 10:26 am

    You know, that is so true. I’ve thought many times that I need to eat alone LESS, and try to enjoy meals with the company of friends more often in the evenings. Great reminder.
    Crissy recently posted..Brown Sugar Brownie BarsMy Profile

    • Ghada V
      May 31, 2013 | 12:35 pm

      I find it hard especially with my husband coming home late from work often. I don’t know if eating with just the kids counts :)

  4. Randa @ The Bewitchin' Kitchen
    May 30, 2013 | 10:33 am

    I like to host, not a fan of going. At least when I host, I can control what’s being made.
    Randa @ The Bewitchin’ Kitchen recently posted..Summer sport – get kitted outMy Profile

  5. Shanaka
    May 30, 2013 | 11:00 am

    I enjoy cottage cheese and greek yogurts for snacks. I like hosting so I can have control of what is served though I do keep all guests in mind and try to have a good variety for all.
    Shanaka recently posted..Mohawk rug give awayMy Profile

    • Ghada V
      May 31, 2013 | 12:51 pm

      That’s good. It can be difficult to cater to everyone

  6. Nicole Feliciano
    Twitter: momtrends
    May 31, 2013 | 11:46 pm

    I think I eat less when I am at home. Too busy feeding the kids!
    Nicole Feliciano recently posted..Saturday Swag: Online Contests and GiveawaysMy Profile

    • Ghada V
      June 2, 2013 | 7:02 am

      Yes, true!

  7. […] you are eating out to be social and catch up with whomever you are with. Remember what my friend Rocco DiSpirto said about eating with people? Talk, chat, be […]

KiwiCanadian expat adventures with my husband and 2 kids from life in New Zealand to New York and back again. Adventures in inspired family living, travel, health & fitness.Read More »